May 31, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Mariners versus Blue Jays! The newly revamped and revitalized Mariners head back home after their triumphant world tour.

Monday, 7:05p, LHP Moyer v RHP Hentgen. I always think of Pete Harnisch instead of Hentgen — “He’s still around?”.

Tuesday, 7:05p, RHP Meche v RHPP Halladay. Halladay’s been the best pitcher on the Blue Jays staff so far, and only Freddy Garcia’s been better for us. Meche… well, you’ve seen what’s happening.

Wednesday, 7:05p, RHP Pineiro v LHP Lilly. Lilly the huge-then-ex-prospect has revived his career by way of being okay.

Didn’t the cops catch up to “Bum Fights” and shut them down?

Offenses: Toronto 25th, Seattle 27th

Rotations: Seattle 14th, Toronto 19th

Bullpens: Toronto 18th, Seattle 21st

Defenses: Seattle okay, Toronto slightly worse

Seriously.. ugh. Two bottom-tier teams punching each other repeatedly for meaningless wins. Orlando Hudson’s out, Kevin Cash is out, Frank Catalanotto is out, and that new mean-looking Jay… that’s dumb. I liked the old logo better, it was classy.

It’s interesting to note that the Blue Jays, who hired JP Riccardi, who got the job because he went into the interviews and laid out exactly the kind of super-sabermetric-friendly team plan I would have, if I was really good at presentations, and could get an interview for these kind of jobs.

Since he took over, he’s gutted as much payroll as he could, they’re drafting college players almost exclusively (well, that’s too strong — they’ve moved towards a lot more of them). The Blue Jays compete in a brutally difficult division, like the Mariners do, plus they suffer from some terrific currency exchange issues that hamper thair ability to spend on payroll.

For all of their work trying to turn the team around, they’re playing .440 ball. They don’t have any huge future superstar position players on the major league team (I know, Wells, but I mean a guy like early Beltran that’s out playing and makes you nod and think “You can build a team around this guy”, and Wells doesn’t make me think that), and I don’t see Delgado sticking around after his contract’s up, though I don’t know where he’d head (we could do much worse).

The Blue Jays, though, cost $50m, and they’re better than the Mariners by a long shot.

Hey, interesting side note — ESPN’s straight-no-bunk payroll has the Mariners at $73m.

There are a couple of points here, I guess —

The Blue Jays as an organization are spending their money way, way better than the Mariners, even if their team isn’t winning the way the A’s are.

A smart organization can spend some money and keep themselves respectable as they transform into something capable of long-term success.

The Mariners don’t have some money, they have a ton of money. If they wanted, they could run $100m+ payrolls and make mid-season salary pickups, and still be profitable. If they’re willing to listen to my pal Dave here, they can start drafting much better, make some astute trades, and spend their way to short-term respectability while they try and rebuild a shattered farm system.

See everyone at the game tonight!